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article imageDomestic homicide reviews introduced in the UK

By Jane Fazackarley     Apr 13, 2011 in Politics
Local area domestic homicide reviews became law in the UK from today. The announcement was made by the Home Secretary Theresa May.
According to the press release "local areas should undertake new action to tackle domestic homicide following any case where someone has been killed by their current or former partner".
Figures from the Home Office show that approximately two people die at the hands of a current or former partner everyday in England and Wales as a result of domestic abuse. The domestic homicide reviews have been brought in as part of Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004). One million women suffer domestic abuse every year, according to figures from the British Crime Survey.
Police, local authorities and the health service are among those who will take part in the multi-agency reviews to ensure that lessons are learnt from each case and the reviews will aim to prevent future violence and death.
If a local area doesn't participate in a review the Secretary of State can, from today, instruct a person or organisation to take part.
Commenting in the press release, Home Secretary Theresa May said:
"From now on where someone has been killed by their current or former partner, a review takes place so that lessons can be learned to prevent future tragedies."
"Domestic violence is a dreadful form of abuse - with some victims suffering for years at the hands of an abusive partner - this is one of the many actions we are taking forwards to help end violence against women."
Figures for 2009/2010 issued by the Home Office (PDF) show that 94 women were killed by their partner or ex partner and there were 21 male victims.
Mark Brooks is chairman of Mankind, a UK charity that offers support to male victims of domestic abuse. In an email he told me: "It is vital these reviews apply the same standards of inquiry for both female and male victims who have died because of domestic abuse. We will be looking through the guidance to ensure that is the case."
The government recently announced a £28m action plan in a strategy to end violence towards females. The action plan was announced on March 8, International Women's Day.
More about Domestic violence, domestic homicide, Theresa May, domestic homicide reviews, Home Secretary
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